Disclaimer: Batman and his company aren't mine. There are a few original characters that are, but that's about all. Don't sue, I have nothing except for lint.
Notes: The title comes from the following lines in the TV show Due South, it is as follows:
"There's red ships and green ships, but no ship like partnership."
Yeah, I'm a dork, what can you do?
Summary: Loral and Hardy. Abbott and Costello. Dr. Evil and Mini-Me. The world now has to prepare for another partnership: Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain.
Heaven help us all.
NO 'SHIP LIKE PARTNERSHIP
Batman sat hunched over the Batcomputer clicking away determinedly at the keys while information popped up randomly on the large screen just over his head. A few more hits and the screen was covered in newspaper articles and pictures of various sorts. Batman stopped typing and looked over the information flooding the screen with a sigh. He didn't need or want another drug ring in Gotham, but, looking over what the evidence he had been collecting for close to three months, he realized that was exactly what he had.
Bruce rolled his eyes under his cowl at the name. Did everyone in Gotham have to make up a nickname for their organization? Quickly, he made a note at the top of the file with The Jackals information; Drug group #19. It was much easier this way, although only he knew his very scientific way of sorting.
The Jackals had recently been causing Batman a lot more hassle then normal for a new group of wanna be drug dealers. Their resources of speed, ecstasy, and heroine were abnormally high and Batman had been unable to find who was supply them. Well, so far he had been unable to. He had been planning at letting "Matches" Malone stretch his legs a bit and do some undercover work, when he found a problem with that plan.
He didn't look sixteen anymore and yet that was the average age of the Jackals. It put a huge damper on his undercover plan, yet also made Bruce believe that he had to get the Jackals to disband soon. Sixteen was not an age where kids should be exposed to and selling drugs of such toxic results. Besides, he knew that those kids could still be saved and not forced to live a life that many drug dealers did.
Now, the problem was, how could he stop them?
Batman sighed again. Undercover, at this point, seemed to be the only way to get the information he really needed. Once he found the supplier, he could work from that direction and cut off the supply. With no drugs, the kids would stop selling, stop making money, and he could scare them into getting their lives back on track. All that he had been able to do so far was scare them enough to stop a drug transaction or two. The kids weren't afraid of him as long as they continued to get their drugs because they knew that the Bat wasn't capable of stopping everything that had be built by the Jackals.
It irked Batman to know this because he knew it was true. Undercover was the only answer now.
And in this laid another problem.
Who did he know who was young enough to go into the Jackals?
The answer caused a third sigh from Bruce.
Tim, Cassandra and Stephanie.
Stephanie was out almost instantly. He didn't like her or the Spoiler and wanted nothing to do with her. He just wanted her not to get herself killed and that meant not putting her undercover.
Cassandra was good and he was certain she could shut down the ring in matter of hours, but that was as Batgirl. She would jump in head first, feet and fists flying, and put each and every one of the kids in the hospital, but that wasn't what Bruce needed. He could have done that, but over the years, he had learned that wasn't the way to stop a ring. So, that was where he ran into a fairly large problem with Cassandra. She couldn't talk. Well, not very well anyway. Not well enough to be able to get the information he needed.
Then there was Tim. He knew that boy would good in there and get the information he needed, however, he was so cautious. Not that, that was a bad thing. In this business it was a good quality to have, but he needed someone undercover that would become a Jackal. Bruce knew Tim wouldn't quiet fit the part of a new member, not that it was the boy's fault. He just wasn't a drug dealer personality.
So, Bruce was stuck with a dilemma.
An idea suddenly came to him. Not, perhaps, his best, nor sanest, but it was workable and just might be the answer he needed.
Clearing the screen, he typed in a command to both Robin and Batgirl asking them to meet at the Cave tomorrow by midnight.
If something as a solo didn't work, partnership was the next best plan.
Besides, he reasoned, it was time that Tim and Cassandra had a chance to work together.
At exactly midnight, Batman watched Batgirl and Robin enter the Cave. Without a word, he gestured for them to take a seat at the small black marble table that was currently covered in a variety of papers. Both did so and Tim leaned slightly forward looking over the papers, while Cassandra plopped her feet up on top of the table.
"I have a case for you two."
Tim looked at his mentor curiously. "Both of us?" He questioned. It wasn't that he didn't like Cass, as a matter of a fact, he hardly knew her, but there was something about working a case with her that...frightened him.
Cassandra heard the word 'case' and instantly her feet fell to the ground as she sat up from her reclined position.
"Yes. Both." Bruce grabbed the two files nearest to him and handed one to each of his young charges. They opened them and began to read. Well, actually, Tim began to read. Cassandra just stare looking for the word 'cat' which, sadly, wasn't on the page. So, she closed the file and tilted her head in Batman's direction.
"There's a drug ring called the Jackals that's been operating for too long now. They deal with heavy drugs and have the possibility to get too large and too dangerous. I need you two to stop them."
Cass was on her feet in a moment almost ready to head out back into the night, but Bruce's voice stopped her.
"You're not going as Batgirl and Robin."
Tim looked up from the file suddenly worried what they were going to be going as.
Batman grabbed another file and handed the corresponding one to the proper teen. Tim looked his over, reading quickly.
"Luke Spencer?" He questioned.
Bruce nodded and looked at Cassandra. "And you're Catherine Spencer."
The young woman beamed. "Cat!" She proclaimed proudly.
"You two will be the newest members of the Jackals. Starting tomorrow night the job is to get who the supplier is and bring me the information. I do not want any heroics. Get the information and get out."
Tim looked over at Batman and then at Batgirl. Cassandra turned her head to Batman also.
"Undercover?" She questioned.
Robin looked back down at his folder and wondered what he had done to deserve this. He'd only been uncover a few times, mainly as Jack Malone with Dick at his side and never he had been in charge of an undercover mission. Looking up from the folder he saw Cassandra staring at him. Tim was certain this was going to be one of the hardest things he had ever done.
"Meet back her tomorrow at six to get ready." And with that Bruce was gone leaving the two new teammates.
"So, um, I guess we should go over this." The young man gestured to the piles of papers on the table.
Cass nodded and took a seat in the same way she had earlier with feet propped up on the table. Tim stifled a sigh and grabbed the first file.
"Okay, well we're brother and sister, but both are adopted. "Uh, your birthday is February 16th, 1984, and mine is August 26th, 1984. You were born in Keystone and I was born in Gotham. We were both brought up in orphanages in the respective cities until Kyle and Joan Spencer adopted us in 1990. Our home is apartment 7d on 162 E. Templeton Street. Our new dad was killed in a plane crash when we were eight. Our new mom died just last year from a drive by. Neither of us ever knew our birth parents."
Tim flipped over to a new page. "We have no other relatives that we are in contact of and so live by ourselves. I work at job at a," the young man scrunch up his nose, "a packing plant and you work in a hair shop." He raised an eyebrow at Bruce's choice of employment for Cassandra and vaguely hope she wouldn't actually have to do any work while undercover.
"Let's see," he continued looking through more papers, "we are interested in joining the Jackals because we need money," obviously he silently added, "and don't have any schooling other than middle school because of our parents; death."
Tim looked over the final pieces of paper on their new lives and didn't see anything of importance. Just a few birth certificates and other identification types. He looked up to Cass.
The young woman shook her head.
"Okay, so here's information on the Jackals." Tim held up a large folder and suddenly realized it was going to be a long night.
Finally, at 3:00 AM the two crime fighters had finished their debriefing on the new case and headed to their respective homes. Tim didn't question where Cassandra lived, figuring it was either with Babs or some place Bruce had set up for her, but knew that he needed to find a place to stay just for the night.
It was, thankfully, winter break from Brentwood and his dad with Dana had taken holiday over in France with the promise that Tim was going to stay at Brentwood over break. They had also signed papers that insured this was to happen. However, unknown to them, the papers were sent back to a certain Mr. Bruce Wayne, and new papers, one that allowed Timothy to go home, were sent to Brentwood. Not too surprisingly, Jack Drake's signature had the exact same tilt to it that Richard Grayson's signature also had.
Needless to say, Tim Drake was free of Brentwood for the break without his parents knowing. This also meant that he was homeless for the night, which then meant he had to take residence at Dick's.
Robin let himself into the bachelor pad that Nightwing called home outside of costume. The young crime fighter removed his outfit and was asleep on the couch before four AM.
The youngest crime fighter of the Bat Family was awaken by something large and heavy landing on his chest. He let out a loud 'oof' before attempting to protect himself from the attack. He'd just grabbed his bo-staff from beside the couch when he realized he wasn't in too much danger.
"Morning!" Dick's voice happily invaded Tim's sleep muddled brain. The boy groaned began to push Dick off of him.
The older man laughed and jumped off of his little brother, as he watched Tim rub his eyes attempting to remove the remnants of sleep.
"What time is it?" Tim asked groggily.
"About 9:00." Actually, it was 8:15, but close enough.
"9:00!?! Dick, I didn't get into bed until 3:45, let me sleep!" Tim then pulled the blanket over his head and fell back onto the couch.
"Sorry kiddo." Dick pulled off the blanket. "I'm supposed to take you out and give you the run-down of undercover. I think Babs is hanging out with Cass, too."
"But, I don't have to meet Bruce till 6:00 tonight." Tim complained while feebly attempting to take back his blankets.
"That gives us just about eight hours then." Dick stood and marched away with Tim's blanket in tow. "Besides, you want to know how to act savvy with Cass and everything." Dick winked. "Nice catch you got there."
Tim rolled his eyes and flopped over to his stomach mumbling into the pillow.
"What was that?"
The young boy lifted his head for a moment to clarify his earlier statement. "It's not what you think."
Dick shook his head at his young houseguest and walked off into the kitchen where the coffee was brewing. After a few minutes, in which Tim thought he was saved and could go back to sleep, Dick started to sing a merry little tune from the confines of his kitchen.
"Timmy and Cass siting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First, comes love, then comes marriage---" Dick never had a chance to finished because a large pillow smacked him in the face. Tim stood in the living area rumpled with sleep and hair sticking out every which way glaring at Dick.
"Shut up." Was all the current Robin managed before heading to the bathroom.
Fifteen minutes later, a clean Boy Wonder exited the bathroom and found Dick sitting at the table with the paper and a hot cup of coffee. Caffeine, Tim knew, would make everything better and so he headed off for his own morning high. Dick watched the younger man move and smirked while humming under his breath. "---then comes Timmy pushing the baby carriage."
Hearing made acute by hours of training caught the tune and Tim turned around from the kitchen.
"It's not like that!" He cried rather pitifully. "We're just going undercover together."
Dick nodded his head while taking a sip of his drink. "Sure."
"Ugh!" Tim threw his hands up in disgust. "Give it a rest."
Calmly, the older man put down his mug and faced his brother. "Wanna know something?" Before Tim could answer, Dick continued. "Guess when the first time Babs and I kissed was."
The older man's smile grew as he caught the baffled look in Tim's eyes. "When?" The younger man asked skeptically.
"Our first undercover mission together."
Tim didn't say anything to Dick's soft laughter, but turned away in a huff and went for his coffee. Bruce owed him BIG time for this and he hadn't even started the mission yet.
Six o'clock rolled around and with it, Tim and Cassandra found themselves standing in the middle of the Cave. Alone. They mentors who had been with them for the day, seemed to vanish right around five till 6:00 leaving the two teens by themselves. They stared at each other for a long silent moment both wondering what was going on. After fifteen minutes of silent waiting (they had moved and taken seats at the table) the two youngest members of the Bat-Clan finally heard the approach of someone.
Both looked up and saw Bruce, dressed as Batman sans the cowl, heading in their direction. Behind him, however, they also noticed Barbara and Dick, dressed as Nightwing.
"Tim go with Dick, Cassandra with Barbara." That was the order and both slightly confused teens moved to their respective elder. With a nod from Bruce, Dick and Babs moved to separate ends of the Cave and into small dressing rooms.
It was time to become Luke and Catherine.
Tim surveyed himself in the mirror with a grimace. Dick had done a good job of dressing the younger man. Baggy jeans that he practically swam in covered a pair of black shoes, and the baggy long sleeved shirt that had some sort of strange Chinese lettering on it fell slightly below the waist line of his jeans and covered the exposed black boxers. His hair was sticking out slightly under the red baseball cap that was placed on backwards. Tim felt ridiculous and highly out of place in his new look.
"You look good." Dick commented while looking the redone Tim over.
"I look stupid." Came the mellow response.
"Naw, you just look the part. Don't worry," Dick slapped him on the shoulder, "before long you'll get use to it."
"That's what I'm afraid of." Tim mumbled as he followed Dick out of the wardrobe room.
They noticed Bruce was waiting, but there was no sight of Barbara or Cassandra. Bruce looked Tim over head to foot, scrutinizing ever detail.
"Good," was all he said, but it was enough.
The trio silently waited until the heard the other door open. Babs rolled out and came beside the other waiters. All looked on expected Cassandra to come around the corner.
Barbara huffed loudly. "Get out here now." She ordered to the hesitant girl who was doing anything but that.
"Cassandra." Bruce growled the one word and instantly they heard movement.
The clicking of boots could be heard and Tim suddenly realized he had never seen Cass in anything but the Batgirl suit. This could be interesting---
A few more clicks later, and Cassandra came into view. For the first time, Tim realized this job may not be too bad.
Cass looked at her viewers carefully. "No laugh." She stated and walked closer to them.
Tim wasn't about to laugh, but rather applaud. He watched Cass move gracefully towards them in the slightly heeled boots and was amazed that she wasn't stumbling, but, he supposed, training in balance probably allowed her to find her center no matter what was on her feet. Also, as she walked, Tim surveyed her new look.
Barbara had done her work well. Instead of the black kevlar pants of her suit, she wore a black skirt that fell to her knees with a slit that exposed her leg with each step. A deep blood red tank top which fit tightly against her skin completed the outfit, along with the black boots. Her hair, which Tim had also never seen outside of a ponytail, was worn down with a slight curl. Tim also noted she wore lipstick that matched her dress and drastic black eye makeup that seemed to fit the whole ensemble perfectly.
Bruce looked Cassandra up and down much as he had down to Tim. "Good." He restated andBarbara smiled slightly.
Tim and Cass just stared at each other, neither quiet sure what to make of the other's appearance. Cassandra finally broke the silence.
"Look like thug." She stated while wrinkling her nose a bit to show her distaste. "Robin suit better."
Tim just shrugged his shoulders, a movement that was hardly noticeable among the large shirt. "I like it better, too."
Cass nodded and looked down at herself with the same look of distaste. She then looked up at Bruce. "Bat suit better." She complained while crossing her arms.
Tim was about to state 'I beg to differ' but then remember she could wipe the floor with his body, and chose to remain silent. Bruce, for his part, said nothing, but instead headed over to the Batcomputer and grabbed a box which was sitting there.
He pulled out a silver bracelet, earrings, and ring and handed them over to Cassandra. She stared at them in her hands and tilted her head in question.
"Put them on." She dutifully began to. "The bracelet is a tracker that is activated when you take It off, once you open the clasp, we'll know your exact location and that you need our assistance. Do not take it off before that however. The earrings are a microphone and listening device. Place the left one on who you want to bug and you can hear through the right one once you snap off the back. The ring, when thrown to the ground, is a smoke bomb."
Bruce turned away from Cassandra and pulled out a large silver chain and a wallet for Tim.
The young man excitedly put on the necklace and placed the wallet in his back pocket. He looked up eagerly to his mentor. "What are these?"
"The wallet has about three-hundred dollars in it and the necklace is white-gold. Try not to lose it."
Tim blinked at Bruce and then looked over at Cass. "But her stuff is so," he searched for the right word, "neat."
Bruce pulled out a finally item, a single silver stud and handed it over to the slightly dejected look Tim Drake. "This is a varied version of Black Canary's Canary Cry. When the back of the earring is broken off, seven seconds later, a high pitched cry will emitted from it rendering whomever hears it unconscious."
The young man took the earring and smiled, but then frowned slightly. "But, I don't have my ear pierced."
Dick, behind him leaned forward and whispered into Tim's ear. "Yet."
Forty minutes and an ear piercing later, Tim and Cass climbed into the Redbird.
"Now, get out of the car at 5th and West Templeton. Dick will be by later and get the car. You two walk to the apartment and tonight go to the Roost by eleven. The Jackals, or some of them, should be meeting there." Tim buckled in as Cass fixed her skirt attempting to cover up her legs. "Remember, no heroics. Get information and then get out. Understood?" Bruce leveled a look at both of his protégées.
"Yes sir." Tim answered and Cass nodded her head.
"Good luck then." The top of the Redbird closed and drove away leaving the three adults to watch it.
"They'll do fine." Dick noted as Bruce pulled the cowl over his face. "They'll get you what you need."
Bruce secured the cowl and was gone, Batman taking his place. "That's not what I'm worried about." He stated as he moved towards his Batmobile. Without a word, he entered and took off into the night.
Dick and Barbara looked at each other. "Remember our first undercover together?" The red hair asked.
The slightly younger man looked down at her and smiled. "Boy, do I ever."
Tim and Cass parked the car and both got out without a word, as they had been in silence since leaving the Cave. Both began the ten-block trudge to their new place of residence. The winters in Gotham were just as brutal as the violence and before long both teens where shivering from the large snowdrifts that were being blown in the faces. For the first (and probably last time) Tim thanked Dick for his outfit choice. Over the baggy clothes a large white (and thick) jacket protected him slightly. The young man spared a glance over at his partner. Although a long black jacket that feel to the ground covered the less than warm outfit she wore, Tim knew Cass had to be freezing.
Stopping, he shrugged out of his jacket as Cass looked at him oddly. He handed it over to her. "Here ya go, Cat." He smiled at her and she took the offered clothing.
"Thanks," she paused, "Luke."
Both started walking and Tim was thankful that they only had three more blocks to go, because he was dying without his jacket. But, Cass looked warm and, for some reason, that almost seemed worth it.
Finally, their new home loomed into sight and both entered the shambled apartment complex. Seven stories later and the two entered their new home courtesy of Bruce Wayne. The place was, for lack of a better term, a hellhole.
The walls were yellowed with age and what wallpaper there was, was peeling off the walls. The floor was a faded and stained wood that had definitely seen better days. Tim flicked on a light switched and was pleasantly surprised to see they had electricity. Cass moved inwards to the kitchen as Tim took the bedrooms---
---or rather bedroom.
A large king-size bed sat alone in the middle of a dank room. It, luckily, had clean sheets and all (Tim supposed that was an upside), but still that meant that him and Cass had to share. He was also certain this was Dick's idea of a funny joke. The young man shook his head. Nope, that would not work. He'd take the floor.
Tim moved out of the room and stole a quick look in the bathroom. Everything appeared clean (probably Alfred's work) and a quick check proved the faucets and showers worked. He moved back to the living room to find Cassandra sitting on the dingy couch looking upset.
"No Alfred's cook. Frozen stuff." Tim shook his head.
"Yeah, well at least we have food." He took a seat in an old wooden chair across from Cassandra. They both sighed in sync.
"Well, we have an hour till we're suppose to leave." Tim looked around the sparse living room. "What do you want to do?"
Cass looked at Tim. "Practice?"
Although, the idea of getting himself pounded by Cassandra seemed like fun, Tim begged out. "We have to stay in costume."
The young woman sighed and looked down at her skirt and began to pick off invisible dust from it. She looked up and found Tim playing with his bo-staff (it was hidden in an inside pocket on his jeans).
"Always this boring?" Tim's eyebrows creased in question. "Undercover."
"Oh." The young man understood the question. "Um, not really. It can be in the beginning because things don't always work out. Like, this one time Dick and I went undercover as Jack and Robbie Malone." Tim saw Cass leaned forward slightly, listening. "We had to find out this ring leader of an arms group and, it took us four weeks before we were even allowed into the group. Luckily, we didn't have to live as Jack and Robbie or else my dad would have killed me."
"Dad no know?"
Tim collapsed his staff. "About Robin?" Cass nodded. "No, he doesn't."
"I, well, I just make things up about why I sneak out and stuff."
"You lie?" Cass leaned back in the couch as Tim began to fidget nervously.
"Um, yeah, I do."
The young woman shook her head. "He should know. Need to know."
Tim matched the headshake. "He can't know. He'd be so mad with me."
Cass leaned forward and took the bo from Tim's hands. With ease she extended it to its full length and swung the staff towards the young man head. On instinct, Tim grabbed the staff, plucking it from Cass's hands, and had it collapsed and resting in his palm. The moves were graceful and fluid, and the young woman just smiled while Tim looked at her in shock.
"He'd be proud." She stated calmly.
Again Tim shook his head and looked back down at his bo. "You don't know my dad. He'd be hurt saying that I betrayed him when all he wanted to be was a good dad." The young man sighed. "I'll never be able to tell him."
Cassandra crossed her arms. "Lucky."
"You have dad. He not know about costume, but he love you." She uncrossed her arms. "No father." She pointed to her chest.
"But, what about Cain?"
The young woman shook her head. "Not father. Teacher. Mentor. Killer. Make me, not love me."
For the first time since he had know about the new Batgirl's past he suddenly wanted to know more.
"But, he had to care for you. I mean, he wanted to make you the best. He did make you the best." Tim thought about it for a moment. "Well, he almost did anyway."
Cass looked at Tim oddly for a moment and the young man had to advert his eyes from the strange gaze.
"You think he love me?"
Tim shrugged. "I don't know really, but maybe he did and training you was the only way he knew how to express that love."
The two teens locked eyes for a moment before both looked away quickly.
"Um, well, we should head out to the Roost now."
Cassandra absently nodded and grabbed her coat. Tim grabbed his own and began to hand it off to his partner.
"No, not far. Be fine."
The young man nodded in acknowledgment and followed Cass out the door.
The two made their way into the dark, smoky bar at 11:00 o'clock on the dot. They pushed open the doors and instantly Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain were no where to be found, replaced by Luke and Catherine Spencer. The entire day had been spent with their counterparts learning how to act and carry themselves as another person. Their training had not been wasted.
Tim lost the normal rigidity in his back and allowed his body to hunch ever so slightly. Instead of the flowing steps of a crime fighter, Tim walked with heavy feet and hands deep in his pockets. His head was held high, although eyes darted around nervously, showing all that he was a kid who thought he owned the world, but in reality, was a nervous as anything.
Cass, who normally walked like a shadow, never drawing attention to herself, now walked flamboyantly with long strides and swaggers. Her expression was one of mild boredom as she looked over the room, in its dirtiness, with distaste.
The pair fit in perfectly.
Tim moved to a small table with Cass in tow and took a seat. A waitress, who was obviously overworked, asked for orders, but they both declined and went back to watching the room. For twenty minutes, they waited and finally a new pair entered the bar.
A heavy-set teen followed by another burly teen boy entered and signaled at the waitress. She rolled her eyes, but went and began to prepare two drinks. The pair sat down at a table just two away from Tim and Cass.
"Kyle Ranger and Josh Trible. They're supposedly the leaders of the Jackals." Tim whispered to Cassandra who nodded her head. The crime fighters watched and attempted to understand what Kyle and Josh were saying, but the noise in the bar drowned out the conversation.
Cass looked at Tim and then back at the pair of drug dealers. This would not do, she realized and rose to her feet.
"Cat!" Tim hissed quietly, but didn't make a move to stop her. The young girl walked in the direction of the table where the two Jackals sat, pretending to head towards the bathroom in the back. Tim watched her carefully and noticed that Kyle and Josh were doing the same. She moved close to their table and smile, but continued walking.
That was until she faked a trip and fell directly towards Josh. The blond haired boy jumped slightly, but caught the falling girl and rested her next to him on the bench.
"Thanks." Cass stated while batting her lashes at the young man. She had the decency to look flustered and attempt to straightened her hair. Tim held back a smile and rose to grab his 'sister.'
"Cat, what are you doing?" Tim made a move for her arm, but Josh knocked his hand away.
"Hey, man. She found us."
Tim crossed his arms and stared directly at Cassandra. "Come on, we're going."
The young woman shrugged at Josh and rose to her feet. "Thanks again." She said while walking off behind Tim. Just before they two exited the bar, she looked over her shoulder and winked.
Kyle started at his friend. "Dude, what's up?"
Josh just watched the door swing shut. "I think I'm in love." He muttered as his friend rolled his eyes.
"Man, we've got bigger things to worry about that some bimbo. The next shipment's coming tomorrow. You know the Boss doesn't want our focus off." Both teens began to talk in hushed tones about the next delivery, not aware of the small silver stud that was imbedded in Josh's pant leg.
Outside, Cass listened carefully to the small device smiling.
"That was a risk, using our only listening device so quickly." Tim hadn't even been aware of what she was doing until he stepped outside and noticed the missing earring. It was a rash decision on his partner's part and, in reality, they were just lucky it had proved worthwhile.
"You worry too much." Cass stated as the two began to walk towards their new home. "Work out fine." She observed.
Tim shook his head. "And you don't worry enough." He countered. "It worked out fine, because you got lucky."
"Hmph! No such thing as luck."
Tim shook his head again. This was definitely going to be an interesting time if nothing else.
The two undercover teens made their way home all the while listening (inconspicuously) to the small earring. It had turned out to be a very good move on Cass's part to place the listening device on Josh. The already had the meeting place for the next shipment from the supplier which was taking place tomorrow night. Cassandra made note of the best way to drop in and begin kick butt. Tim, on the other hand, made note of how to get them involved in the Jackals the way which took the least amount of butt kicking.
to say, later there would probably be an argument between the
two. Cassandra entered the small apartment first and shook off fairly large amounts of snow onto the hardwood floor. Tim nimbly stepped over them and hung his also wet coat up.
"Bed." The young woman proclaimed and headed in the direction of the bedroom. With the one bed. Tim sighed.
"Night." He called to her and decided to just rest on the couch for a while. Bruce had left no room for argument when, earlier this evening, he told the pair they were, by no means what so ever, to go out as Batgirl and Robin. Cass had snorted angrily, but Batman remained glue to his word. He went as far as to give them The Look. And he also locked up their outfits in the vault. So, Tim sat on the couch bored.
Slowly, he moved and laid down on the lumpy piece of furniture and closed his eyes. Just as he was about to fall into slumber-land, he had the sensation of being watched. He was awake instantly and ready for an attack. None came, but he found himself mere centimeters from Cassandra's face.
"Bed." She stated and pointed to the room.
Tim rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, there's only one bed and so I was just going to sleep out here and let you have it."
The young woman shook her head. "Big bed. Two fit fine." She then grabbed Tim's hand and pulled him, not too gently, to his feet and in the small bedroom. She sat him on the bed while grabbing the pajamas Bruce had sent over earlier along with other clothes and headed into the bathroom. Tim sighed and looked at the bed. Maybe, just maybe they both could fit comfortably. He went and also grabbed the boxers and shirt to sleep in and waited for Cass to get down.
She came out a few minutes later clad in flannel pants and a t-shirt. She moved past the Boy Wonder and laid down in bed. Tim went ahead and did his bathroom stuff, emerging, and moving into the bed also.
It was, indeed, just big enough for two and Tim was thankful for that because it was a lot more comfortable then the couch out in the living room.
"See, big enough." He heard Cass mumble from her pillow and Tim smiled.
"Yeah, you're right." He consented and rolled over sleep claiming him in just minutes.
It was a very disgruntled cry that woke Tim up the next day. Ready for anything, the Boy Wonder sprung out of bed, landed on the ground (with bo in hand) and listened very, very carefully. Another angry sound echoed in the room. With slow, cautious movements, Tim moved in the direction of the noise.
Steeling himself for a surprise attack, he went for the door handle. Only to be forced to perform an odd backward tuck to escape being creamed in the face with the door. He landed, somewhat awkward on his feet, and then only had a second of realization to duck before a pointy object would have no doubt went in his eye.
"Erg!" The young man, on all fours, prepared himself for another attack, but then recognized the pissed off sound and the person who made the noise.
The young woman turned and faced him. Luckily, Tim had been trained to school his features or else he would have burst out laughing. Standing before him, Cassandra Cain, trained assassin, crime fighter known as Batgirl and only person alive who could probably best Lady Shiva had black eyeliner running down her cheeks. It did little to make one believe that she truly was all the above mentioned things.
"What happened?" That was the only polite question Tim could think of.
"Stupid marker. Babs know how. Not me. She never showed." It took a moment for Tim to comprehend the choppy statements, but then he looked down and notice the object that was thrown at him moments before was none other than a liquid eyeliner. From there, he simply put two and two together.
"You can't do the make-up right, can you?"
Cass shook her head and crossed her arms angrily. "Stupid," was all she said.
Tim bent down and picked up the marker. Okay, so make-up wasn't his field, but he couldn't just leave Cass looking as she did.
"Wash it off and I'll try to help you out." The young woman stared at him with a funny tilt of her head. "Well I can't be much worse than you, can I?" Eyes narrowed and Tim suddenly wondered if joking with Cassandra was a good idea.
"Fine." Cass turned and stalked back into the bathroom with Tim in tow.
It took some trial and error, but finally the eye make-up was placed on as best it could. Tim was somewhat surprised by his talent and Cass seemed simply relieved that she wouldn't have to try and do her own make-up for the rest of the undercover mission.
After Cassandra took leave of the bathroom Tim was in and out in twenty minutes, dressed in an outfit nearly similar to yesterdays, but with slight variations. Needless to say, he still felt stupid.
The young man met up with his partner at the small table. She was dressed in black pants and a close fitting blue turtleneck. She, still, did not look stupid.
Tim grabbed a bowl of cereal and sat down eating the small breakfast in silence.
The young man looked up from his spoon to find Cass looking at him rather intently.
"Today? Oh, yeah, well we have to go to work." Tim pulled a small piece of paper from in front of him on the table. "You work from noon till five, I work noon till eight." He put the paper back and continued eating.
Tim absently nodded over his bowl at the question.
Suddenly the young man felt very sorry for who ever had a hair appointment for today.
"You're going to 13th Avenue and Thompson. I'll see you after I get off." Cassandra began to walk away, but Tim's voice stopped her. "Do not go out when you get home. Sit and wait for me, okay?"
The young woman nodded and began to walk away again.
"Don't go out!" Tim cried towards her and she simply waved and hand over her shoulder and continued to walked.
The young man sighed and made his way to his own job, already dreading the idea of having to spend eight hours with meat. He made a mental note to tell Bruce that, next time he went undercover, he would pick his own job.
The time crawled by for the Boy Wonder a.k.a. MeatPacking Boy. The factory was hot, even though it was 25 degrees out side, sticky, and smelly. Very, very smelly. Tim was certain that these kind of factories had to be outlawed back in the early 1900's hundreds. For eight hours (480 minutes, 28,800 second. He had counted), the young man watched meat be, well, packed. By the end of his shift, he was more than ready to go home even if it was to a small apartment with a rather silent teenage girl waiting for him.
As he marched home, the wind beating at him and going straight through his winter coat, he only hoped that Cass had listened to him and hadn't gone out or done anything stupid.
Tim made it into the makeshift home to find the place---decorated? The couch had a light blue blanket thrown over it, the table had a white cloth plus a small vase with a single daisy in it. On the floor, there were two rugs both with a strange pattern that Tim didn't bother to try and deceiver. Suddenly, the young man knew, Cassandra had not listened to him.
"Cass?" He questioned softly and then waited as she emerged from the bedroom. He only wondered what new surprises were waiting for him in there.
"What?" She had a smile on her face. A smile that scared the Boy Wonder.
"What is all this?" He simply moved his arms to indicate the new decor.
"So, I see. When? Or better, how did you get the money for this?"
The young woman moved out of the bedroom and grabbed a letter off of the table handing it to Tim.
He began to read. "I regret to inform you that your services at Betti's Beauty are no longer necessary. Enclosed is your current paycheck, plus a bonus. Thank you for your services with us." Tim looked at his partner questioningly. "What happened?" in truth, he dreaded the answer.
"Get fired. Get money. Go shopping!"
"Oh. By chance did you cut anyone's hair today and were you fired after that?"
Cass nodded her head enthusiastically. "Fired after I cut."
"Ah." It all made sense now. Cass's hair cutting skills had to be just as good, if not better (or would that be worse?) than her eyeliner applying skills.
"You do know we won't be living her for that long, right?"
Cassandra had a 'tutting' noise that Tim felt was mocking him and calling him stupid. "Bring home when we go."
"Okay." Tim didn't bother to say anything else, but headed towards the bedroom. He had been right earlier. He didn't want to know what else she bought.
On the bed laid a very bright, very pink bedspread. Who would have thought that Cass, almost darkness herself, would like pink. Tim shook his head and about-faced heading back into the living area.
"We're going out for dinner." He simply ordered and made his way out of the apartment with Cass grabbing her own coat and following him.
"Why?" She asked once they were on the stairs heading down.
we know Josh and Kyle are meeting tonight around 10:00 at the docks.
We can't just show up there and so I'm hoping that they're going to meet at the bar before hand."
Cass punched Tim lightly on the shoulder (well not too lightly because he almost tripped down the stair, but she thought it had been lightly).
"What?" He asked after gaining back his balance.
"Taking chance!" She answered gleefully.
Tim continued down the stairs shaking his head.
Tim's "chance" turned out to be worth it and by the time the two of them enter the bar they had been at the night before, Kyle and Josh were sitting with three other people. Tim instantly recognized them as Krista, Amber, and Steve- more Jackals. He moved Cass to a bench close to the group and took a seat facing them.
"They must be meeting before they go to see the supplier." Cass kept her eyes trained on Tim, but her ears towards the group. She nodded mutely. The two partnerswaited for a chance to make their move to the group, but, before they had a chance, a body sat down next to Cass. She jerked her head quickly and found herself looking into the eyes of Kyle Ranger.
"Hello beautiful." He greeted and Tim held back the urge to roll his eyes. How guys like this ever got girls was beyond him.
Cassandra just simply smiled back. "Hi."
"Listen," Kyle leaned closer to her and Tim only wished he had his bo with him, "why don't you leave this little," he looked at the young man sitting across from him, "pansy and go with a real man." Now, Tim really, really wanted his bo-staff. He'd should that jerk who the pansy was!
"Brother." Cass pointed at Tim. Kyle looked across the table to see the young man smiling at him.
"Luke Spencer and this is my sister," he made certain to emphasize that word, "Catherine."
"Cat." Cass chimed in.
Kyle looked between the two and his eyes narrowed. "You don't look related."
"Oh." Kyle then smiled at Luke and held out his hand. "You know I was just kidding about the whole pansy thing."
Tim smiled tightly but held out his hand. "Of course."
Kyle's attention left Tim and went back to Cass. "So, Cat, why don't you and your brother come join my friends." The young woman smiled and look at her 'brother'. Tim tried not to look to excited.
"Whatever." He answer nonchalantly and rose from the bench. Kyle moved out and Cass followed behind him. They approached the group of Jackals.
"Guys, this is Luke and Cat. Move over so they can sit." With a few moans of annoyance, the other teens complied and allowed the newcomers to sit.
"This is Josh, Amber, Krista and Steve." The introduced people just nodded, although Tim found Krista smiled quiet a lot at him.
"What are you guys doing out so late?" Josh elbowed Tim. "Isn't it a school night?" the group broke into laughter.
"No school." Cass answered matter-of-factly.
The group stopped laughing and Josh looked at the two new teens carefully. "You don't go to school?"
Tim nodded. "My folks died and left Cat and I alone. We both work." Well, we both did work, Tim thought, but decided not to go into the hair cutting disaster.
"That's terrible." Krista stated and stared at Tim. He simply shrugged.
Kyle looked between the two siblings and then his eyes rested on Cass. She looked so---sad, he decided. It must be hard not making a lot of money and having to work so hard. An idea came to the leader.
"Want to make so more money?" Everyone looked at Kyle, Tim and Cass looked curious (and a bit hopeful) while the others just looked mad.
"What are you doing, man?" Steve whispered to Kyle, but the young man just waved him off with his hand.
Tim looked at the Jackal skeptically. "What do you have in mind?"
Kyle smiled, not at Tim, but at Cass. "More money then you'd know what to do with."
Tim and Cass shared a look. "We're listening."
By the time that the Jackals had to leave for the rendezvous with their supplier, the two newcomers knew all the workings of the Jackals. Well, all except for the name of the supplier. The others in the group remained angry looking at Kyle for allowing two people they hardly knew into their secret world, but there was little they could do to argue. At quarter to eleven, the conversation suddenly stopped as Josh elbowed Kyle and mentioned the time.
"Well, we've gotta get going." Tim and Cass stood with the rest of the group as they made their way out of the bar, Kyle stayed behind a bit.
"Meet me here tomorrow at 10:00." He said before heading out with the rest of the group. The two new members waited until they left before turning to each other and smiling.
Mission closer to completion.